Certificate of Approval (Air) Permits FAQ




What is a Certificate of Approval (Air) Operating Permit?

What is a Contaminant?

When is a CofA (Air) Operating Permit Required?

What is a Grandfathered Source?

Are There Exemptions to the Certificate of Approval (Air) Permitting?

What is an ESDM Report?

What is a Noise Review & When is it Required?

What does a Certificate of Approval look like?



What is a Certificate of Approval (Air) Operating Permit?

A Certificate of Approval (CofA, Air) permit is issued by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment (MOE), allowing the regulated discharge of contaminants into the natural environment.

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What is a Contaminant?

A contaminant, as defined in the Environmental Protection Act, is any solid, liquid, gas, odour, heat, sound, vibration or radiation that may cause an adverse effect on surrounding neighbours.

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When is a CofA (Air) Operating Permit required?

Section 9 of the Environmental Protection Act, Revised Statutes of Ontario, 1990, Chapter E.19. states that a MOE issued operating permit is required when installing or modifying equipment that discharges, or is likely to discharge, contaminants into the natural environment.

Ventilated welding and paint booths are examples of exhaust sources that would require permits. In addition, general plant exhaust fans that move contaminated plant air out of the building would also be included in this category.

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What is a Grandfathered Source?

Until recently, the MOE would not issue permits for exhaust sources that pre-dated June 29, 1988. These older sources were unofficially coined "grandfathered". However, in 1998, the MOE imposed new permitting and reporting reforms and contaminant emissions from the old, previously grandfathered, sources must be included in permits with the new sources, if they discharge similar contaminants.

However; regardless of the permit status, grandfathered or not, the sum of all plant emissions must be below the regulated limits, or you are in contravention of the Ontario Environmental Protection Act and subject to possible enforcement and penalties.

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Are There Exemptions to the Certificate of Approval (Air) Permitting?

Yes. Activities that pose no significant risk of environmental impact are unconditionally exempt. Some exemptions that may be relevant to industry include:

  • On-site construction equipment
  • Food / restaurant exhausts
  • Plumbing ventilation
  • Aqueous detergent cleaning operations
  • Building air intakes and exhausts

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What is an ESDM Report?

ESDM is an acronym for Emission Summary & Dispersion Modelling Report. In June 1998, a document titled Procedure for Preparing an Emission Summary and Dispersion Modelling Report was released by the MOE for use by industry and consultants to promote reporting uniformity and improve submission quality. The ESDM report format has now become an industry standard and is required with all applications.

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What is a Noise Review?

The MOE criteria states that if  there is residential, institutional or educational facilities within 500 metres of the site, a Noise Assessment has to be done. The 500 metres generally applies to large industrial applications, and auto body shops usually apply if within 100 metres of the above type of facilities. We can handle the Noise Review as well. Go here to see a typical Data Logger sound output and learn more about sound reviews.

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What does a CofA look like?

Originally, the Ministry of the Environment actually issued a true Certificate. They now issue a letter stating your Approval Number and the terms of the agreement. If we are doing your application for you, we will issue you an additional certificate, suitable for framing, after the approval is granted. Go here to see more.

 

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For more information about dispersion modelling, environmental permits, or compliance issues, please contact us at             (416) 771-2991 or email us at help

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